Maintain A Healthy Pooch
A Healthy Weimaraner
Good Dog Health Is Very Important!
A devastating thing is finding out your beloved dog is seriously ill with a difficult, expensive illness. Upon receiving the bad news, your heart sinks into your stomach and you could sit and cry. Sometimes I’ve done just that. There’s nothing worse than a seriously sick pet.
Prevention is naturally the best solution. So is spotting an oncoming disease early in the stage. Dog health is primary. We do all we can to keep our best friend in top physical shape and hope the breeder has done her job by breeding AROUND the serious hereditary illnesses found in every breed of dog.
By the way — Breeding AROUND serious illnesses is one of the main reasons for seeking REPUTABLE breeders when buying a puppy!
Many of the dog illnesses we have to deal with can be traced to either puppy mills or incompetent breeders. The so called "back yard" breeder or the casual breeder that has a dog and decides to "have puppies and make some money." There are many serious dog illnesses and many of them are hereditary in the blood lines.
This Labrador is a terrific jogging companion.
The exercise is healthy for the dog AND human too!
Maintain A Healthy Dog
Want a complete list of dog poisoning products? -- Things to keep out of reach of your dog or cat? There's a lot of harmful stuff around the house and a glance at the page is a good idea.
(Link opens new window) Dog health depends on your knowledge.
English Bulldog with a very large stick - you KNOW this guy is healthy!
- Dog First Aid is like health insurance - you don't need it until you REALLY NEED IT! Some pages are underway to deal with basic dog first aid to help you you out of difficult situations that can arise without warning.
- A dog must WALK. Running, jogging and games of fetch are fine for exercise, but dogs get MENTAL stimulation from casual walking where they can stop, sniff and explore the bushes, grass and weeds.
- Offer clean water (daily) in a stainless steel or porcelain bowel (NOT plastic) It’s important. Use only water YOU would drink, like bottled or filtered water.
- Avoid dog food loaded with preservatives, by products and sugars. Home cook if necessary. (More on this coming up)
- Adequate daily exercise. The average dog does not get enough exercise.
- YOU need to play with the dog. Dogs normally don't exercise alone. Give a dog a big yard and she’ll lie down for a nap unless YOU come out to throw the ball.
- Don’t tie your dog up in the yard on hot or extremely cold days.
- All dogs need humane interaction to keep mentally healthy. Allow plenty of time to spend one-on-one with your dog.
- Don’t overfeed. Dog health goes down the drain if your pooch becomes obese!
While washing or checking your dog WITH LONG EAR FLAPS, lift the flaps and remove excessive hair, moisture and dirt to prevent bacterial infections. Carefully use a Q-Tip or cotton swab to clean and dry with.
A Dog Health Problems Check
Do this simple hands-on dog health problems check at least monthly to see if you can spot any problems early and avoid a costly disaster.
This is a healthy retriever!
- While petting and massaging your dog, pay attention to any new lumps or bumps under or on the skin. Check all over the dog. These could be cancerous tumors.
- Give the dog a belly rub. Feel for any hardness, swelling or lumps or rashes. The belly and between the rear legs is where skin disorders often start.
- Look closely—Does the dog have a shiny, healthy coat? A dull coat could indicate something is wrong.
- Is any fur coming out other than regular shedding? There are a number of problems that could cause this.
- Do you see any discharge from the eyes, ears, nose or anal glands? A “wet nose” is normal, a runny nose is not.
- A lot can be discovered about dog’s health problems with this simple effort: Check the mouth by lifting the side. Are the teeth white, is there a buildup of tarter, are the gums PINK, and is the breath clean? Bad breath or dark gum's are a sure sigh of certain dog health problems.
Good dog health pays off with a happy dog and owner too!
Warnings From Bad Breath
Bad breath may be caused by poor dental hygiene and bacteria. But what if you are brushing and the teeth are clean and there is no hygiene problem, but there is bad breath anyway?
Certain odors can indicate serious chronic problems that require immediate vet attention.
- For example, foul or bad breath can indicate liver or intestinal diseases.
- Diabetes can be indicated by a sweet, fruity odor on the breath.
- Ammonia or urine smells can suggest kidney disease.
So, you might want to check your dogs' breath now and then, just as a precaution and see your vet if any unusual odors show up. You might be saving your dog’s life.
A healthy pair of happy pups. Proper nutrition
and adequate daily exercise will produce energetic dogs like these.
More To Look For
- The inside of the ears should be PINK to dark pink similar to the gums. There should be no dirt, scabs, crusting or brown spots. Check especially well on dogs with long, floppy ears that drag in the dirt, food and water dish.
Pay close attention to your dog’s body language at all times. If you notice anything unusual in the way the dog is acting, walking, running or carrying him/her self, that’s a sign something may be wrong.
- Check the toenails. Long toenails hurt the dog. One of the most common causes of visits to the emergency vet are due to long toenails being ripped off the foot. This is a serious and painful problem that can so easily be prevented. Trim toenails regularly.
- If your dog is bumping into things, is salivating way too much, is drinking and urinating waaay more than normal or doing anything else out of the ordinary, you can be sure something is wrong that needs your attention and maybe that of the vet.
- You will find a few common symptoms that show up over and over regardless of dog breed and these symptoms can have a variety of causes: The most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, lameness, limping, excessive drinking, urination and scratching.
The most agonizing feeling I know of is standing by and helplessly watching your dog suffer and not know where to turn or what to do. The dog is powerless to tell you what hurts and where and you have no clue what to do. There is no way I can cover everything in this website or even have the knowledge of how to go about doing it.
What I am going to do is recommend an ebook I own and I suggest it to ALL dog owners, whether experienced or not and regardless of the dog breed you might own. Dog health is too important not to have this book. You can download The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health
to your computer in seconds and print out any part of it if you want, when you want. There are several other free books along with this one. One of them is “The Ultimate Guide To Dog First Aid” which I also found very useful. It even shows you how to do CPR on your dog. You also get two free recipe books with a total of 200 meals and treats you can cook for your dogs.
Jogging with an overweight dog.
This owner needs to monitor the dog's diet.
Feeding Your Dog
One of the most important single issues of dog health is his/her food! It is unfortunate that we live in a world of greed. Pet food manufacturers tend to view dogs and cats as some kind of low-life animals and put JUNK in the pet foods with the idea of making a bigger profit. Look on a bag of dog food and you might see PRESERVATIVES such as BHA and Ethoxyquin—both cancer producing ingredients and deadly to your dog. Also, watch for BY-PRODUCTS. These are in the form of road kill like feet and heads of dead animals. They use artificial coloring and flavors as well as restaurant grease to add zip to the food as well as wheat, soy and corn, all of which are allergens to dogs. And how about the indigestible sugars and corn syrups and animal guts they add?
THE critical issue about dog health is what you feed your dog. I can’t emphasize that enough. Most of the commercial dog food products on the market today are so unhealthy it is amazing manufacturers are allowed to sell the stuff.
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